+
upworthy
Family

These depressed-looking desserts might mean that depressed-feeling people get the help they need.

Sad cakes for social good.

When you think of dessert, you usually think of something delicious, decadent, and joy-producing, right? It is, after all, a literal treat.

But that's not what these bakers have in mind. Their cakes, cookies, and other desserts are actually pretty sad and depressed. But that's what makes them amazing.


All images courtesy of The Depressed Cake.

These "sad" but delicious desserts were all created as part of an effort to raise money and awareness about depression and mental health disorders.

The organization is called The Depressed Cake Shop, and the folks behind it want to make mental health disorders the topic of conversation, one decadent dessert at a time.

Mental health challenges are quite common, but the stigma surrounding them and our failure as a society to address them in the same manner we address physical diseases makes it hard for many people to get help.

According to NAMI, "1 in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. 1 in 20 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to the person directly experiencing by a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected."

I spoke with Valerie Van Galder, one of the people who helps keep the organization going, to learn more.

She says it began in 2012 when a woman named Emma Thomas, who lives in the United Kingdom, wanted to do her part to fundraise and create awareness for people who deal with mental health disorders.

Thomas came up with the idea of a "pop-up" cake shop — a local event where bakers donate gray cakes and other treats to be sold for mental health awareness, with all proceeds going to a mental-health-related charity of the organizer's choosing.

It was supposed to be a one-time thing, but it went so well that others picked up on the idea. And a sort of movement grew from it.

Now, the Depressed Cake Shop community assists people in organizing pop-up shops all over the world.

The only requirement for the baked goods is that they have an element of gray "to signify the gray cloud that can descend over a beautiful world when someone is struggling with mental health issues." They can also have a pop of color to signify hope, like this beautiful, Pinterest-worthy cake:

The people who participate in the Depressed Cake Shop events often have experience with mental health disorders, either personally or through relationships with family members or friends they care about.

"I got very inspired by it because my father was bipolar. In 2009, I had to leave my job because my dad was too sick. I couldn't do both" — care for him and work, Valerie told me.

She says it's difficult for people with mental health disorders or their caregivers to access quality services. Plus, the stigma is a barrier to treatment for many.

"We're not a charity," Valerie said. "We're a social awareness program to create conversation and help destigmatize mental illnesses."

"It's not something people will talk about freely," she added. "We hope we can help people seek help. The most challenging thing about it is that the disease itself tells you you'll never get better."

So far, The Depressed Cake has hosted 30 pop-up shops and has helped raise over $70,000 for mental health organizations, and they're still going strong.

There's a pop-up shop happening in Orange County, California, on Aug. 15 with all proceeds going to the Mental Health Association of Orange County.

The best part? Doing good feels good.

"It's incredible. It's been a very healing thing for me," Valerie said. "It's created a community of friends, a network of support I never could have imagined."

"It's the reason that people should want to give back and find something they're passionate about," she concluded. "It gives you so many gifts — not just to the people you're trying to help. A life of purpose is a nice way to live. "

Image from Pixabay.

Under the sea...

True
The Wilderness Society


You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby-Dick."

But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale.

(Get your mind outta the gutter.)

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

More parents are taking 'teen-ternity leave' from work to support their teenage kids

Parenting through the teen years takes a lot more time and energy than people expect.

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

Raising kids through adolescence is not for the faint of heart.

When you have a baby, it's expected that you'll take some maternity or paternity leave from work. When you have a teen, it's expected that you'll be in the peak of your career, but some parents are finding the need to take a "teen-ternity leave" from work to support their adolescent kids.

It's a flip from what has become the traditional trajectory for modern parents. Despite the fact that the U.S. is the only developed nation in the world to not have mandated paid parental leave, most parents take at least some time off when a baby is born to recover physically from pregnancy and birth and to settle into life with their tiny new human. Many parents then opt to have one parent stay home full-time during their children's younger years, as full-time childcare is often cost prohibitive, and raising babies and toddlers requires an enormous amount of time, attention and energy.

Parents often return to work when their kids are in school full-time, and many feel a bit of a respite from the relentlessness of parenting as their kids become more independent and capable of doing things on their own. It's not that older kids don't need their parents, but their needs are different. Physical parenting gives way to more complex emotional parenting as kids get older, and for a while, those emotional challenges are somewhat simple.

Then the tween years come along. Then the teens. And for some parents, a realization hits that parenting kids through puberty takes almost as much time, attention and energy, as toddlers do. Only now, those needs are much more complicated and consequential.

Keep ReadingShow less

"The Carol Burnett Show" had one of the funniest outtakes in TV history.

"The Carol Burnett Show" ran from 1967 to 1978 and has been touted as one of the best television series of all time. The cast and guest stars of the show included comedic greats such as Tim Conway, Betty White, Steve Martin, Vicki Lawrence, Dick Van Dyke, Lyle Waggoner, Harvey Korman and others who went on to have long, successful comedy careers.

One firm rule Carol Burnett had on her show was that the actors stay in character. She felt it was especially important not to break character during the "Family" scenes, in which the characters Ed and Eunice Higgins (a married couple) and Mama (Eunice's mother) would play host to various colorful characters in their home.

"I never wanted to stop and do a retake, because I like our show to be ‘live,’" she wrote in her memoir, as reported by Showbiz Cheat Sheet. "So when the ‘Family’ sketches came along, I was adamant that we never break up in those scenes, because Eunice, Ed, and Mama were, in an odd way, sacred to me. They were real people in real situations, some of which were as sad and pitiful as they were funny, and I didn’t want any of us to break the fourth wall and be out of character.”

It was a noble goal, and one that went right out the window—with Burnett leading the way—in a "Family" sketch during the show's final season that ended with the entire cast rolling with laughter.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

People are debating the merits of a 24-hour daycare and the discussion is eye-opening

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about the need for this.

StableDiffusion

Are 24-hour daycares a good idea?

Millions of American parents utilize daycare centers while they work. Since most people work during the day, most daycare center hours fall somewhere between 7:30am and 5:30pm. It's rare to find a daycare that's open after normal working hours.

But one "24-hour" daycare in Houston captured people's attention—and sparked a debate—when a mom posted about it on TikTok.

Adventure Kids Playcare in Houston isn't actually open 24 hours a day but it does offer childcare up to 10:00pm during the week and until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. In the video, the mom drops her daughter off and we hear the employee tell her they close at midnight. The mom later says she picked her daughter up at 11:55pm.

Reactions to the video rand the gamut from "24-hour daycares are a brilliant idea for parents who work odd shifts" to "Moms shouldn't be leaving their kids at a daycare late at night just so they can go out," sparking a fascinating and eye-opening discussion.

Keep ReadingShow less

A dad is looking for a little more respect at home.

The title of dad or father is a sweet and respectful way to acknowledge a child's special bond with their male parent. It signifies love and respect and shows appreciation for his role in their life. But the title works both ways. The term dad reminds fathers of the responsibility to guide and protect their kids.

The importance of the unique role dads play in their kids’ lives is why a father named Steve was upset with his wife for repeatedly using his first name when referring to him with their preteen children.

The father vented about the situation and asked if he was wrong in a Reddit post with over 10,000 responses.

“My wife recently started using my first name when referring to me to our preteen kids, as in ‘Steve's gonna pick you up from school tomorrow,’” the father wrote on Reddit’s AITA forum. “I asked her not to when I first heard it, saying I don't really like when you use my first name to the kids. Can you say ‘your dad’ or ‘dad’?”

Keep ReadingShow less

Husband's portrait of wife is so bad that she nearly stops breathing

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but what if what your eyes behold is objectively...not good? In what appears to be a creative way to spend quality time together for a married couple, things go hilariously wrong. Ted Slaughter, uploaded a video to his TikTok page of an activity he and his wife did together.

Slaughter's wife seems to be holding the phone so you can clearly see what appears to be a painting of Slaughter, who is sitting at the other end of the table in front of an easel. The text overlay on the video says, "husband and wife paint portraits of each other (gone wrong). But what could possibly be wrong, sure his wife's attempt isn't art gallery ready just yet but it's not bad.

Based on the critiques the man had of his wife's painting, surely his looks much closer to professional level work. Right?...Right?

Keep ReadingShow less